By SHANNON WATKINS
Wildwood Park in Radford will host the Outdoor Classroom over the summer months, offering nature classes at the classroom at the center of the park. Each class begins at 7:30 p.m.
The June 27 class is “Adams Cave Adventure: Wildwood Park’s Unique Treasure” and will include a hike to the entrance of Adams Cave; recommended dress is jeans and work gloves, as participants will be on their hands and knees to enter some of the cave’s rooms. Flashlights are recommended as well. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Leading the class will be Radford High School biology teacher Frank Taylor.
The July 11 class is “Conserving Our Forest Pharmacy: Wild-harvesting Wildflowers,” taught by Christine Small of Radford University’s biology department. The class will focus on the edible and medicinal wildflowers found in Appalachian forests and how they are harvested and conserved.
The July 25 class is “What Wild Animals Do When No One is Watching Wildlife Cameras for Research and Fun.” The lesson will cover a year-long hidden wildlife camera research project involving animals near the Radford Arsenal, and offers advice about performing similar experiments. Leading the class will be Karen Francl from Radford University’s Department of Biology.
The August 8 class will be “Sex in the City: Reproductive Behavior of Radford’s Bluebirds” taught by Judy Guinan from Radford University’s Department of Biology. The lesson will focus on the trailside bird box nests along Wildwood Park and the Riverway and why they are important for bluebirds.
The August 22 class is “Wildwood’s Wonderful Fungi” taught by master naturalist Rebecca Rader and will feature a lesson about why mushrooms are important to the ecosystem and what varieties grow in Wildwood Park.
To reach the classroom, park at the main entrance to Wildwood Park at Main and Grove streets or the lot at Sundell and Park roads. From either location it is a five-minute walk to the classroom in the center of the park. In case of rain, the class will be moved to the Radford Recreation Center at 200 George Street; an announcement stating the move will be posted by 6 p.m. the day of the class at www.radfordpl.org/wildwood/today/map.html.
The Outdoor Classroom is sponsored by Pathways for Radford, Radford City Schools and the Radford Recreation Department.